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0.20.1 • Public • Published

Cylon.js For Raspberry Pi

Cylon.js (http://cylonjs.com) is a JavaScript framework for robotics, physical computing, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

This module provides an adaptor for the Raspberry Pi single board computer (http://www.raspberrypi.org/). It currently works with all models of Raspberry Pi including the Raspberry Pi 2 and Raspberry Pi 3.

Want to use Ruby on robots? Check out our sister project Artoo (http://artoo.io)

Want to use the Go programming language to power your robots? Check out our sister project Gobot (http://gobot.io).

Build Status Code Climate Test Coverage

How to Install

Installing Cylon.js for the Raspberry Pi is easy, but must be done on the Raspi itself, or on another Linux computer. Due to I2C device support, the module cannot be installed on OS X or Windows.

Install the module with:

$ npm install cylon cylon-raspi cylon-gpio cylon-i2c

How to Use

This small program causes an LED to blink.

var Cylon = require("cylon");
  connections: {
    raspi: { adaptor: 'raspi' }
  devices: {
    led: { driver: 'led', pin: 11 }
  work: function(my) {
    every((1).second(), my.led.toggle);

How to Connect

Install the latest Raspbian OS

You can get it from here: http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/

Setting the Raspberry Pi keyboard

Having trouble with your Raspberry Pi keyboard layout? Use the following command:

sudo dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration

Update your Raspbian and install Node.js

These commands need to be run after SSHing into the Raspi:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Install Node.js

You can either install the latest Node.js via the Nodesource Debian repo, or else use nvm (https://github.com/creationix/nvm).

To use the Debian package, first add the Nodesource package repo:

curl -sL https://deb.nodesource.com/setup_5.x | sudo -E bash -

Then install the latest Node.js by running this command:

sudo apt-get install -y nodejs

You should see the node version you just installed.

$ node --version

Connecting to Raspberry Pi GPIO

This module only works on a real Raspberry Pi. Do not bother trying on any other kind of computer, it will not work. Also note you will need to connect actual circuits to the Raspberry Pi's GPIO pins.

In order to access the GPIO pins without using sudo you will need to both app the pi user to the gpio group:

sudo usermod -G gpio pi

And also add the following udev rules file to /etc/udev/rules.d/91-gpio.rules:

SUBSYSTEM=="gpio", KERNEL=="gpiochip*", ACTION=="add", PROGRAM="/bin/sh -c 'chown root:gpio /sys/class/gpio/export /sys/class/gpio/unexport ; chmod 220 /sys/class/gpio/export /sys/class/gpio/unexport'"
SUBSYSTEM=="gpio", KERNEL=="gpio*", ACTION=="add", PROGRAM="/bin/sh -c 'chown root:gpio /sys%p/active_low /sys%p/direction /sys%p/edge /sys%p/value ; chmod 660 /sys%p/active_low /sys%p/direction /sys%p/edge /sys%p/value'"

Thanks to "MikeDK" for the above solution: https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=198148#p198148

Enabling the Raspberry Pi i2c on Raspbian

Easy Install

The really easy way to configure your i2c is to use the i2c-tools extensions for raspi-config. You can install it like this:

sudo apt-get install i2c-tools

Once installed, run sudo raspi-config and choose the "Advanced Settings" menu. Select the "I2C Settings" and follow the prompts. You will need to reboot after changing the settings.

Manual Install

You must add these two entries to your /etc/modules


You must also ensure that these entries are commented in your /etc/modprobe.d/raspi-blacklist.conf

#blacklist spi-bcm2708
#blacklist i2c-bcm2708

You will also need to update the /boot/config.txt file. Edit it add the following text:


Finally, you need to allow the pi user permissions to access the i2c interface by running this command:

sudo usermod -G i2c pi

Now restart your Raspberry Pi.

Enabling PWM output on GPIO pins.

You need to install and have pi-blaster running in the raspberry-pi, you can follow the instructions for pi-blaster install in the pi-blaster repo here:


Available PINS

The following object depicts available pins for all revisions of raspberry-pi, the key is the actual number of the physical pin header on the board,the value is the GPIO pin number assigned by the OS, for the pins with changes between board revisions, the value contains the variations of GPIO pin number assignment between them (eg.rev1, rev2, rev3).

You should just be concerned with the key (number of the physical pin header on the board), Cylon.JS takes care of the board revision and GPIO pin numbers for you, this full list is for reference only.

PINS = {
  3: {
    rev1: 0,
    rev2: 2,
    rev3: 2
  5: {
    rev1: 1,
    rev2: 3,
    rev3: 3
  7: 4,
  8: 14,
  10: 15,
  11: 17,
  12: 18,
  13: {
    rev1: 21,
    rev2: 27,
    rev3: 27
  15: 22,
  16: 23,
  18: 24,
  19: 10,
  21: 9,
  22: 25,
  23: 11,
  24: 8,
  29: {
    rev3: 5
  31: {
    rev3: 6
  32: {
    rev3: 12
  33: {
    rev3: 13
  35: {
    rev3: 19
  36: {
    rev3: 16
  37: {
    rev3: 26
  38: {
    rev3: 20
  40: {
    rev3: 21

The website http://pi.gadgetoid.com/pinout has a great visual representation of this information.


We're busy adding documentation to our web site at http://cylonjs.com/ please check there as we continue to work on Cylon.js

Thank you!


For our contribution guidelines, please go to https://github.com/hybridgroup/cylon/blob/master/CONTRIBUTING.md .

Release History

For the release history, please go to https://github.com/hybridgroup/cylon-raspi/blob/master/RELEASES.md .


Copyright (c) 2013-2016 The Hybrid Group. Licensed under the Apache 2.0 license.


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